There’s a whole lotta talk about comparison in motherhood (or really whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in life) and the whole idea has gotten a rather bad rap. I’m here to shake things up a bit. Rattle some cages. Wake up those lazy bones. I want to talk with you guys today about the power of healthy comparison.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” (Theodore Roosevelt) “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” (Jon Acuff) “Comparison is an act of violence again the self.” (Iyanla Vanzant)
I’m not saying these folks are entirely wrong. In some senses, they’re spot on! BUT, what if our comparison looked different? What if it looked more like an act of admiration rather than envy? Are ya following me here? I hope so…
Perspective is Everything
EVERYTHING. I know you know this, but have you taken a moment to internalize it in respect to comparison? Yes, there is going to be something that woman is crazy good at. Maybe a lot of things. Instead of feeling defeated by that fact, try this on for size: good for her! Rock on, girl! How can I work to achieve something like that for myself?
Isn’t that far more refreshing than letting yourself dwell on how you currently don’t measure up? Because friend, I can guarantee you there’s someone out there looking at you and doing their own comparisons. Pinky promise.
Comparison is Inevitable
So my proposition is, since comparing ourselves to others is an inevitable part of existence—I don’t mean being narcissistic and completely self-absorbed here; I’m talking about typical, human, autonomic comparison—why not take charge of it and make it a healthy comparison?
When we’re building our homes, managing our finances, picking out what we’re going to wear or eat and then see someone else doing it our version of “better,” instead of bottoming out in self-pity, be buoyed by the fact that if they can do it, why not you? Get creative. Use the incredible arsenal of skills you do have to climb that lil’ mountain. Or maybe it’s a great big one! Either way, build on the comparison instead of being broken by it.
Negativity is Under Your Control
We all have the nasty little devils that dig their talons in; they look different for each of us. Soft spots, loose armor, moments of weakness where we let self-doubt creep in and steal away our joy.
Nuh-uh! Establish a routine of victory, my friend. You can be free from that burden, whatever it is. Don’t let yourself be lied to—shoot some truth back, and be ready to do it. Find confidence in who you are, in who you were made to be.
When you do slip into the rut of unhealthy comparison, have a tactic ready. Be the master of your thoughts instead of letting them master you.
Failure is Fuel
When you do mess up that goal you’re reaching for (you might…), don’t let it bury you. Figure out a different way to achieve whatever you’re aspiring to and try again. If you’re passionate about something, odds are you’re meant to chase it!
I’m going to throw a BUT in here: sometimes the things we think we’re passionate about lead us into what we’re actually called to. You following me here? Be open to other doors that are sitting open when one closes. Let one failure fuel you to your next win!
Take potty training, for example. Oliver told me he had to use the potty this morning, so we went and sat for around 20 minutes before he decided he was done—with an empty potty to show for it. Five minutes later, I kid you not, he both poos and pees in his diaper. *face palm* Epic fail, I believe they say. Next time, I will attempt to shake it out of him. Gently of course, I’m not a bully. 😉
Be fueled by other people’s successes. Find joy in their victories. Skipping through life with a positive vibe rather than dragging along with a cloudy one can transform your existence. As a wise bumper sticker encourages: make today happy.
So be different with me and find ways to morph ugly envy into soul-boosting, healthy comparison. What do you have to lose, my friend?
What are ways you struggle with negatively comparing yourself or your situation to others’? How can you take back that negative and make it a healthy comparison?